While no company is perfect, high performing organizations have a clear understanding of where they are going and everyone understands how they support the effort to get there. People believe that their co-workers’ intentions are good and give them the benefit of the doubt even when things don’t go well.
Here are some things you can do to take back control of your culture:
Get people excited again.
We know; that’s easier said than done. But when people are excited, they talk to each other. They share stories. And they’re more engaged. You must encourage people to use their voice. You have to give them authority to make decisions and take ownership of their work. Most importantly, you need to involve them in the important decisions and make it okay for people to talk about their concerns. Show them how they contribute and allow them to be a part of it. Trust them to do the job that they were hired for.
Stop addressing symptoms.
You have to find the root cause in order to actually correct a corporate culture problem. Sometimes you can do that by having 1:1s with employees; other times they might feel more comfortable with an anonymous survey. Growth and change is scary, and not everyone is open to talking about their fears. That can cause them to disengage. Stay aware, watch for signs, and start doing a little digging. You need to gather some data and get rid of the “gut check,” communicate the plan to the employees, and then act on it.
Change the way you think about work.
An article by Business Insider detailed the findings that Microsoft saw by switching to a 4-day workweek. Productivity increased by 40%. While this is an extreme example for some companies, it took someone with an open mind to initiate such a change. Be fearless. Other things they tried were reducing meetings to a 30-minute limit and encouraging remote communication. The bottom line is that they changed the way “they’ve always done it,” and inspired their people with options and flexibility.
Being an employer of choice requires senior leaders to work purposefully on the culture of their company. Remarkable leaders address more than just the symptoms of problems; they collaborate with others to get to the root cause and then take action. Employees are invited and encouraged to use their voice and become unified. People are highly productive and still have fun!